WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Education will reconsider funding cuts to programs at two universities following mistakes on federal applications, according to U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.
West Virginia University’s McNair Scholars initiative and West Virginia State University’s Upward Bound program do not receive funding in the Education Department’s proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year. WVU rounded the total amount requested by $2, and WVSU’s application had a $104 error on the grant narrative portion of its request.
Manchin said he learned of the reconsideration Friday in a telephone call with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
“In West Virginia, we have a lot of first time college students, many of whom come from low-income families that simply do not have the resources or experience to help their children navigate things like Advanced Placement classes, SAT tests, college applications, financial aid, and finally college itself,” he said.
“After our conversation, Secretary DeVos assured me that the Department of Education is reconsidering the matter.”
WVU’s McNair Scholars program is targeted at college students who are either first-generation or with financial need. Upward Bound at WVSU is aimed at assisting low-income and first-generation students receive college credit while in middle and high school.
Under the Education department’s proposed budget, WVU and WVSU would lose $220,000 and $500,000 in funding respectively.
DeVos originally said during a June 6 Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing the requests could not be reviewed.
Manchin sent a letter dated June 13 to DeVos asking the department to review the requests.
Republicans Sen. Shelley Moore Capito and Reps. David McKinley, Alex Mooney and Evan Jenkins also have spoken to DeVos or sent letters to her office since the hearing.